The Seldoms | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Seldoms 

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Choreographer Carrie Hanson became fascinated by the concept of darkness while reading In Praise of Shadows, Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's slim 1933 volume on Japanese aesthetics (one tidbit: it was once customary for elderly women to black out their teeth). The Seldoms' program--a collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble, a music group based in Chicago and New York--includes Hanson's unique new Three Shades of Dark, in which she makes ingenious use of a sunken orchestra pit representing an unseen realm. The costumes include long translucent tails of braided plastic wrap, and the "knotted" movement is primal and disturbing: the dancers stick their fingers into other dancers' mouths in what seem primitive attempts to find out what's going on inside them. David Schotzko of ICE performs percussive compositions that require him to make mouth noises, slap himself, and poke his own head. Also on the program are Hanson's Overflow, set to original music by Richard Woodbury, and a musical work with video projection, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's "Eight Songs for a Mad King." a Fri-Sat 2/16-2/17, 8 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500 or 773-935-6860, $12-$18.

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